1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . . 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Yeah, no rhyme or reason re the title, but it seemed as good a one as any . . . because it’s Day 5—the last one—of the free promotion of The Connecticut Corpse Caper!

If you like old mystery movies with creepy mansions, hidden passageways, and multiple corpses, Caper’s for you.  And solving this caper proves both challenging and exciting . . . and maybe a little scary, too.  Okay, maybe a lot scary.  <he-he>

Hey, with a description like this of eccentric Aunt Mat’s place, how could you not have a thrill or chill or two?  (You just know something major is going to happen!)

“Hell” was the best word to describe the Moone Connecticut estate. The mansion resembled a demon’s lair and could serve as a horror film director’s dream setting. Dark and untamed, it promoted an underworld quality. Yet everything on the sweeping grounds also held a sense of harmony, as if the neglect, almost perfect in its precision, had been carefully executed.

A thick arc of dead rosebushes encircling a lopsided fountain of capering cherubs boasted stark, disconcerting symmetry while a large overrun garden, lifeless herb patch, and circular clump of dogwood possessed an oddly unsettling order.

Situated on the far eastern corner of the estate was an elaborate stone gazebo enfolded by lifeless ivy twisted like sinewy, arthritic arms. Beyond it stood a perfectly aligned grove of cedars. With its unique aesthetic quality, the land was reminiscent of Futurist artist Giacomo Balla’s later figurative works.

Please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG

Not Too Many More, We’re at Day Four

Day Four of the free (!) promotion of The Connecticut Corpse Caper . . . featuring me (lovely Rey), my cute Cousin Jilly (also known as JJ), and my BFF, Linda (she’s a peach).

That crazy week there motivated us three to become professional private eyes; for three non-detectives, we did an awesome job solving the “case”.   Here’s a summary that Linda wrote a wee while back:

A week-long stay in a creepy oversize Connecticut mansion is awash with hidden passageways, disappearing and reappearing corpses, and seven quirky inheritance recipients.  And if that’s not enough to make for hair-raising moments on a secluded storm-bound estate, how about a ghost named Fred that roams the hallways?

A stipulation in the will of JJ’s eccentric aunt: if a guest leaves early, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.  The first one to leave—permanently—dies just hours after arriving.

People soon start dropping like flies.  Donning amateur sleuth caps, we endeavor to solve the mystifying murders.  Others jump in, and the bumbling and stumbling—and mayhem—begin.

Yeah, I like that.  Good work, Lindy-Loo!

Please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG

 

Free, Free, Free . . . Three, Three, Three

Hey there, it’s Rey, and we’re entering Day Three of the FREE promo—that’s right, F-R-E-E.  For $0 you can get a copy of The Connecticut Corpse Caper.

What can you expect?  Lots of entertaining excitement and eerie events.  A real haunted antebellum mansion, murder and mayhem (with several corpses found in the oddest of places), and a slew of zany suspects.

The crazy happenings inspired JJ, Linda and me to set up shop on Oahu and become official P.I.s.  We’re very proud of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency and are doing pretty decent, if I do say so myself . . . and I do.

Please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG

Yabba Dabba Doo, It’s Day Two!

Gotta love Fred Flintstone’s enthusiasm—I’m yabba-dabba-dooing over day two of the FREE promo for The Connecticut Corpse Caper.

 It’s Rey again.  How ya doin’?

If you’re interested in learning how JJ, Linda and I—the private eyes of The Triple Threat Investigation Agency got our inspiration to pursue this profession—please check out the book.

There are some fun times and weird happenings: a resident ghost in whacky Aunt Mat’s mansion, a week-long “must stay” to collect a share of the inheritance (the poor dear swooned over a theater balcony, what a way to go), hidden rooms and passageways . . . and a murder or three or more.

Remember it’s free (a word dear to my heart).  Please check us out at . . .

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG

Five, Four, Three, Two . . . One . . . None

As in free-none (nothing to pay, yay).  You don’t have to hand out one red cent.  Woo-hoo.

Hey, it’s Rey.  The Connecticut Corpse Caper, which “inspired” us to become private eyes, is available for free today through February 12th.   That’s a bargain if ever there was one.

If you, like me, enjoy old B&W mysteries with hidden rooms, red herrings, and a curious cast of colorful characters, Caper may prove a fun read.

Eccentric Aunt Mathilda has passed.  Several people—including Cousin Jilly and my best friend Linda—are invited to spend a week in her haunted mansion to collect a share of the inheritance.  If anyone leaves for any reason, their share goes to those remaining.  Only a few hours after we arrive, the first guest departs, as in permanently.  Strange goings on—such as loud bumps in the night and crazy behind-the-wall chuckling—take place and more bodies drop.  The three of us pull on our amateur sleuth hats and set out to discover who the killer is.

If I’ve intrigued you even a little bit, maybe you’d like to check out our escapades?

Catch ya tomorrow (I’m on post patrol for the duration of this promotion.)

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG

The “E” Word

A short woo-hoo post.

The “e” word is . . .

e-d-i-t-o-r

tenorNext Chapter has asked if I would like to edit again (thanks Miika!).  Would I!  I can’t work at it to the extent I’d like right now (given mom-care is 24/7, with only two hours a week of support outside of myself, never mind the full-time job).  But I’ll do as much as is doable for the interim.  Can’t wait.  Love to edit.

And while we’re looking at the word “editor” . . . I’m still going through the final draft of “HA-HA-HA-HA”.  Getting there.  Slowly but surely.  It’ll be ready soon, I promise (I hope).  Rushing an edit isn’t in anyone’s best interest.

I suspect there’ll be some editing-related posts in the near future (he-he).

And that, dear friends, is my short-and-sweet post for the weekend.

Take care and stay well.

The “H” Word

One more “personal” post – one that seemed an appropriate accompaniment and finale—to the previous two.

My mom’s newly diagnosed dementia (the “d” word) has added to the anxiety factor, this I’ve readily admitted.  That it appears to be spiraling isn’t helping, alas.  Support (the “s” word) is forthcoming, but not to the degree I want or require.  Nevertheless, it’s a start.  A baby step or two . . . those I used to write about. 

Today’s “h” word . .

h-o-p-e

On a self-centered “me” level, I hope that I am free of mom-care soon; after so many years, exhaustion and depression aside, I do believe I am entitled to have a life of my own.  Moreover, it’s better she be in long-term care; they can provide around the clock assistance and at a level so much more superior and professional to mine.

On an all-encompassing level, I hope that the world returns to relative normalcy sooner than later (world peace, and all that, would be welcome, too, but I won’t push it).  It’s hard to believe that COVID-19 has been around so very long and, now, its variants have entered the scene.  Several months ago, we’d hoped for a vaccine; they now exist.  Let’s further hope that the vaccine(s) are available [more] quickly, that they work well, and that the virus(es) are eventually eradicated.

HOPE = WISH = DREAM = OPTIMISM = FAITH

Hope keeps us going.  It enables us to: 

♦  have dreams and pursue them  ♦ believe anything is possible   ♦  keep going (despite odds and challenges)  ♦  stand tall and strong, and  ♦  maintain faith.

WPhope2There are different ways to boost hope.  I do it through writing/blogging (this post “voices” my hope and inspires me to persevere).   Having someone to talk (vent) helps.  Sometimes, music can do the trick; a certain song will bring a smile to these usually taut lips and, suddenly, there is a glow, a soft amber light, at the end of that very long, proverbial tunnel.  For others, a book or movie/show may do it, too.  So could prayer, dancing, walking, singing . . . it’s merely a matter of finding what inspires your hope.

With that, I’ll leave you with a simple yet compelling quote (one I’m particularly fond of) from anti-apartheid and human rights activist, cleric and theologian, Desmond Tutu . . .

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

The “S” Word

Thought I’d stay in the personal post mode for a wee bit and continue to share this strange [frightening] journey.

I’ve learned dementia comes in waves but, oddly, with my mother, it seems to have mushroomed in the last week.  Or maybe I’d turned a deaf ear to it, “convincing” myself it’s just short-term memory loss (a phrase which I feel safer, more comfortable with).  But, definitely, her grasp of time and events is declining. 

The word for today is . . .

s-u-p-p-o-r-t

I’ve put it out there, my concern, anxiety and anguish . . . my tears . . . my heart and soul.  Starting this week, we will have someone come twice a week for one hour.  As my mother refuses to allow anyone but yours truly to do anything, the hour will likely consist of my mother chatting with said someone.  It’s a start.  It will accustom my mother to different people; she’ll learn [hopefully] to accept help from others.

We’ve got her with a home doctor now, too, as the one she had was way to far away.  Another step.  Medications will be reviewed.  Maybe new ones administered.  There’s a physiotherapist to help with exercises once a week.  If you looked in the dictionary for couch potato, my mother would be there.  I say this with a smile and a wink; she’s never been one for exercise.  There’ll be an occupational therapist at some point, as my mother’s taken to falling during the night. 

For all the years we toil and struggle, the families we rear, the relationships we maintain, the undertakings we, well, undertake, we should be able to grow old with dignity.  It seems so terribly tragic, and heart-rending, that life in those “golden years” is more like tarnish.  It’s said that life isn’t fair, but that sounds so despondent, and yet, appears to be true; often, it simply isn’t.

But I refuse to be discouraged, or pessimistic.  I have to [continue to] keep that faith, no matter how many challenges are thrown my way.  It’s not easy.  And, yes, there are days when I want to give up, crawl under the covers and never come out again. 

It’s human to become dismayed and disappointed . . . but it’s also human to become encouraged and inspired.  This comes through . . . you got it . . . support.

If you need it, seek it.  If you have it to give, offer it.

Believe in miracles.  They do come true, you know.  When least expected.

tenor

The “D” Word

As a writer/editor/blogger, words mean everything to yours truly.  Sometimes I can spend a short lifetime finding just the right one to represent just the right mood, emotion, sentiment trait, characteristic, and/or detail.

This post revolves around one word—no more need be provided.  It’s the “d” word, which I will get to shortly.

Every now and again I like to get “personal” . . . share a little about my life as opposed to focusing on the world of writing/editing and blogging . . . to be transparent.

As you know, my writing/editing/blogging is rather limited due to two full-time jobs: the 9-5 work world (which is more like 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. nowadays) and mom-care.  Both can prove challenging, but the latter has become increasingly more demanding.

Folks keep saying, take each day as it comes, don’t think of the future, or you’ll burn out.  News flash: this caregiver is burned out.  Majorly.  With no support in place, I’m on overload 24/7.  Now, it’s not just administering many meds, making meals, helping with chronic pains and aches, tucking Mom in at night, and seeing all is good/comfortable . . . it’s dealing with that frightful, fearsome “d” word . . . 

d-e-m-e-n-t-i-a

My mother has officially embraced it.  And I’m more sad/depressed/weary than ever.  She has had short-term memory issues for some time but, other than having to repeat things 3-5 times (which can be annoying but is certainly manageable), the confusion factor has entered the equation.  Big time.  In the span of a blink. 

Dementia has always terrified me.  Maybe it’s an irrational fear, but it’s also a very real one.  In terms of my mom, long-term care is the eventual option . . . eventual because the virus has made it impossible for LTC establishments to take in any new residents.  Given what is transpiring with the vaccine, it may be some time before they open their doors again and, when they do, it will be to those many people already on the long, long lists.

I’ve done all I can . . . given 15+ years of my own life to support a woman who has pretty much always been centered on herself. But that’s okay; she is who she is, as I am who I am. And it doesn’t change what is transpiring . . . and what must, in due course, come about.

There’s something cathartic about sharing this openly, to purge; unlike complaining, it’s constructive.  For those of you in similar situations, hang in.  Find organizations that can assist or provide guidance.  Locate support groups.  Vent to a friend, in the mirror, in a notebook or on the laptop when it’s proving too much.  Release the anguish, resentment, woe.  For the interim, yes, it may seem [very] overwhelming, but things do—in time—change.  And for the better.  Keep the faith, always.

There’ll always be another challenge, another test.  Believe in yourself and know that you are capable of enduring anything and everything that comes your way.  Share (unburden) when you feel the need, and [always] stand tall.

The last two paragraphs were for you as much as me . . . I was reminding myself, and advising you, of “to-dos” and “remembers”. 

So here’s one more “d” word . . . d-r-e-a-m.

Dream of all the good things that are to come.  They’re there, in the distance, bright as the light at the end of that proverbial tunnel.

Take care, stay well, and God bless.

A Film is a Petrified Fountain of Thought

So is a book, I believe (thank you to Jean Cocteau for that quote).  Post #5, the last in the “series” of favorite books/authors who have influenced me in one form or another, goes to Russian-American author, Ayn Rand.  I’ve enjoyed all her books, but I think The Fountainhead takes the number one spot (I still see Roark’s architectural creativity in certain dwellings).

A quick what’s what: this 1943 novel revolves around Howard Roark, a young architect with an innovative flair.  A designer of modernist buildings, he won’t part from his concepts to act on other’s wishes; it’s his way, or no way.  He symbolizes what Rand viewed as the “ideal man”.

A fairly intense read set in the 20s, Roark is ousted from Stanton because he won’t stick to historical architectural convention.  He heads to New York and lands a job with a once celebrated architect, Henry Cameron, who has lost favor and only receives the odd contract.  They create some notable work, but don’t do well financially.

Roark’s destined to be crushed by self-centered individuals.  Ellsworth Toohey, a malevolent soul, is a collectivist critic of architecture who wants to ruin Roark’s career.  A man who embraced wealth after being born into poverty, publisher Gail Wynand pursues power over others; he proves disloyal to our young architect when he can no longer contain popular opinion.  And let’s not forget the intriguing heroine, Dominique Francon, a columnist for The New York Banner.  She fluctuates between aiding and undercutting Roark (a love-hate relationship if ever there was one).

In some ways, it has the elements of a well-crafted soap opera, with characters possessing envy, greed, and pride, among other things, and how those feelings influence, alter, or destroy relationships/marriages.  We also have good versus evil, which makes for solid tension and friction.

Rand received several rejections for The Fountainhead.  Fortunately, she had an agent, who diligently submitted the manuscript to various publishers.  Knopf contracted the book in 1938, but when she was only half done come late 1940, the contract was annulled.  More rejections ensured.  Finally, Rand began submitting herself . . . with success.

I always liked the concept of individualism, which Rand is known for, and is the primary theme of The Fountainhead—“not in politics but within a man’s soul”.  And that soul belongs to Roark, a resilient, independent man who won’t give up principles and vision for money or fame.  Nor will he befriend someone to move up the corporate ladder.  Strong and resolute, he’s true to himself.  Roark embodies the traits/qualities I always wished I possessed.  (No wonder I particularly enjoyed that book so much.)

And, yes, there was a movie . . .  a petrified fountain of thought . . .